Current projects

Development and testing of collaborative and automated robotic systems to support the loading process of tankers (CoboTank)

The project aims to develop and test future-proof, automated solutions for liquid cargo handling in German inland ports, an area of the inland shipping industry that is currently characterized by manual, physically demanding and error-prone work. Joint partners from Garant Mineralölhandelsgesellschaft mbH, Deymann Tankrode Logistics GmbH, Hafen Hamburg Marketing e. V., Mercatronics GmbH, and the Chair of General Psychology and the Chair of Mechatronics at the University of Duisburg-Essen will develop a partially automated cobot and a fully automated robot for this purpose. The use of a cobot promises increased process reliability, the best possible occupational safety, and improved ergonomic aspects, while the robot will present possibilities for automating the loading process. Additionally, the CoboTank project will examine the current burden on employees working in tank farms and on ships in order to derive implications for a human-centered design approach for the cobot. This analysis will involve examining the physical demands, level of automation currently in use, potential for errors in the loading process, as well as the mental workload and its effects on employees. By considering these factors, the project will be better able to develop automated solutions that not only increase process reliability and safety but also improve ergonomic conditions and reduce mental strain for employees. The collaborative partners are also supported by associated partners, the Bundesverband der Deutschen Binnenschifffahrt e. V. (BDB) and the Unabhängiger Tanklagerverband e. V. (UTV).

Determination and simulation of an optimal hybrid on-demand mobility (BestMOD)

The use of motorized private transport (MIV) is steadily increasing. This increases traffic congestion, creating traffic jams and requiring further infrastructure development. At the same time, noise and exhaust emissions are increasing, so that the quality of life is declining. To counteract this and achieve the climate targets of the German government, it is necessary to strengthen public transport so that private transport can be reduced or, as a first step, does not increase further. However, this expansion requires high investment costs in infrastructure (e.g. subway line in Düsseldorf Wehrhahn) as well as high operating costs. Therefore, the question arises, how and where can the public transport offer be expanded according to demand in such a way that the additional costs can be covered by customer growth and economic gains?  

To the best of our knowledge, no study has been conducted to date that has simulated and determined the optimal public transit service in areas of lower demand based on surveys of mobility behavior and the determination of multimodal travel resistances. Furthermore, there is currently no tool available that public transport operators can use to perform optimal planning in the municipality.  
Only in recent years it has become possible to answer this question in acceptable processing and computing time due to open databases and increased computing capacities.  
The planned study follows the following approach to achieve the objectives:

  1. Develop a new methodology for determining municipal and regional mobility user needs in terms of multimodal source-destination time relations (mmQZZ).
  2. Application of the methodology while collecting and processing mobility data from sources that already exist in municipalities or can be collected in a low-threshold manner using the developed tools.
  3. Use of the data to create a realistic, multimodal and networked traffic simulation as a basis for the subsequent study.   
  4. Study of the potentials a) of a stronger networking of different existing means of transport using the existing infrastructure (e.g. "waiting for connection" in the case of short delays), b) of the inclusion of new forms of operation in public transport (e.g. automated minibuses) as well as c) by optimizing a hybrid on-demand transport especially for structurally weak or poorly connected (in the sense of public transport) regions.

see the project homepage for further information

Ruhrnetwork Functional Digital Media-Use Children and Adolescents

Guidelines for the functional use of digital media by children and adolescents are increasingly demanded by parents, teachers, and politicians. However, in order to make scientifically sound recommendations for guidelines, there is a need for a better understanding of the psychological mechanisms that contribute to the functional use of digital media. The aim is to make full use of the opportunities and possibilities offered by digital media and not to protect against the risks of dysfunctional and addictive use of digital offerings exclusively through preventive offerings. This is where the proposed "RuhrNetwork for Functional Digital Media-Use in Children and Adolescents" comes in, which is intended to provide a structural framework for interdisciplinary and cross-location research into psychological mechanisms of functional digital media use and the development of empirically tested measures to promote this. By applying for third-party funding and collaborating with national and international researchers, including FOR 2974, the RuhrNetwork aims to contribute to long-term research on functional digital media use and to a holistic understanding of children's and adolescents' media use.


see the project homepage for further information

Former Projects

Age-adequate driver assistant systems (Funded by EFRE.NRW)